The United States looks different from abroad, especially from such a remote locale as the Kowloon Bay in Hong Kong. It’s something less than an exotic adventure, however, when you try to find out whether those mushrooms you bought at $38 a pound, canlegally be brought into the United States. The U.S. Customs web site (which can be brought up online in Hong Kong) directs you to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which for some reason was blocked the first two times I tried to reach it. Apparently, American corn is considered a subversive influence.
In a way, I should have anticipated this. With the scare about Avian flu reaching a fever pitch wherever it is discussed, broad measures against contagion would be reasonable, but over-reaction has also happened. It should also be noted, that Hong Kong is as worried as anyone about keeping the Avian flu out. Two years ago, Hong Kong was hit with SARS just as badly as most Chinese coastal cities, and the island was panic-struck. This time, they are taking no chances, and that means tight restrictions as well on what comes into Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has a well-deserved reputation for fine tailoring. Unfortunately, most men in Hong Kong are not, ahem, my size, which is to say that unless I wanted to pay a premium price, the off-the-rack selection was quite limited. The electronics selections were truly impressive, but not a necessity, nor in my range of income. It is fascinating, a la Dick Tracy, to find that you really can buy a wrist-TV, complete with cellular transmission features, so that you can call your friend in New York to tell them about this great show in Tokyo you just saw, while you stand in Hong Kong. Amazing.
By the way, and I guess I will find out shortly if this is something I should be posting, but you can read Polipundit from Hong Kong. I’ve tried to be safe though,and have been bouncing my posts in via a Houston server. Last thing I need is for my wife’s mom to get in trouble for me writing about American politics!